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Russ Ryan

Senior Litigation Counsel

Russ Ryan is a nationally recognized attorney and thought leader with particular interest in the regulatory and enforcement apparatus of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other quasi-governmental regulators overseen by the SEC, including the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the various securities industry self-regulatory organizations (SROs). He has decades of experience defending private citizens and businesses caught in the crosshairs of these and other financial regulators.

Russ joined NCLA from the law firm King & Spalding, where he was a partner for 15 years. He left the firm from 2015 to 2018 to serve as Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief of Enforcement at FINRA. Earlier in his career he served for two years as law clerk to a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York and for 10 years as a staff attorney and Assistant Director in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. He also taught for several semesters as an adjunct professor at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

Russ is a prolific speaker and writer on financial regulation and enforcement. He has spoken at dozens of professional conferences and published scores of commentaries and academic articles, including numerous op-eds in The Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostBloombergLaw360, and elsewhere. His regular column on LinkedIn is called “On SECond Thought: Unconventional Perspectives on Securities Enforcement.”

Russ earned his undergraduate degree from Boston College and his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law, where he was an executive editor of the law review.

What doesn’t the SEC want Volkswagen shareholders to know?

By: Russ Ryan April 6, 2024
When the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Volkswagen with fraud five years ago, the company emphatically disputed the charges as “legally and factually flawed” while assuring shareholders it would “vigorously” contest them. Fast forward to 2024. The SEC and Volkswagen jointly told the court last month that the company has agreed to pay $48 million to settle all charges. The…

SEC Should Cut Its Dystopian Follow-On Enforcement Proceedings

By: Russ Ryan March 21, 2024
Imagine you’ve just endured a nasty lawsuit where your adversary convinces the court you deserved to be punished. Before lodging your appeal, you’re sued in a different tribunal for even more punishment—and the judge assigned to decide that new case is your erstwhile adversary. Welcome to the dystopian world of Securities and Exchange Commission “follow-on”…

SEC Must Scrutinize Auditing Watchdog Before Offering More Funds

By: Russ Ryan December 12, 2023
It’s good to be a powerful regulator that sets its own budget without much congressional oversight or a need to beg elected representatives for annual appropriations. Most Americans are feeling the squeeze of runaway inflation and stagnant wage growth, but not the bureaucrats who regulate auditors of public companies and securities brokers. The Public Company…